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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Food > Canning/Preserving

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2010, 02:56 PM
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MotherCharlotte MotherCharlotte is offline
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Default My grape jelly didn't set at ALL.

I am new to canning so forgive me if this is a silly question. What did I do wrong with my grape jelly? It turned out not just runny, but completely liquid.

I tried making it from bottled juice from the store (it was real organic grape juice, not grape punch or anything like that.) I used Certo brand pectin crystals. The recipe in the box said to use 7 cups of sugar to 5 cups juice, I used 6 cups because that's what my recipe book (which is the Canadian equivalent of the Ball book) said for grape jelly. I didn't think the brand of pectin mattered so much, as long as I was following a recipe.

I did made sure to boil it hard for 1 minute too. But it's not even thick enough to use as syrup on pancakes. What should I do now?
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:46 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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I'll let others weight in on the possible causes of the failure to jell. Especially, since I've had my fair share of syrup, instead of jelly, too.

As to your syrup, since it's thin, you can use it to flavor beverages or even plain water. What is you have is a grape flavored version of simple syrup. If you want it thicker, put into a crock pot and leave the lid adjar to evaporate more of the moisture. Or, simply leave in the jars, and gently simmer at the time of use to condense it further.

Or, use it to moisten pound cake or angel food cake when you make a trifle. Lots of different variations on those here. http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-...trifle,FF.html Just pick one that you like, and use your grape syrup instead of white wine or another liquid to moisten the cake. (Naturally you'll use a combo of things that will enhance or go along with the grape flavor.)

Hope this helps, a bit. Iffin you don't want that syrup, you can always send it to me. I assure you that it won't go to waste.

Lee
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:24 PM
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MotherCharlotte MotherCharlotte is offline
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Thank you for the ideas, Lee.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:08 PM
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momma_to_seven_chi Female momma_to_seven_chi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherCharlotte View Post
I am new to canning so forgive me if this is a silly question. What did I do wrong with my grape jelly? It turned out not just runny, but completely liquid.

I tried making it from bottled juice from the store (it was real organic grape juice, not grape punch or anything like that.) I used Certo brand pectin crystals. The recipe in the box said to use 7 cups of sugar to 5 cups juice, I used 6 cups because that's what my recipe book (which is the Canadian equivalent of the Ball book) said for grape jelly. I didn't think the brand of pectin mattered so much, as long as I was following a recipe.

I did made sure to boil it hard for 1 minute too. But it's not even thick enough to use as syrup on pancakes. What should I do now?
Sometimes if you just put it back in and boil it longer it helps. If not, then just put it in containers as freezer jelly or grape topping for ice cream or add it to white corn syrup to flavor for pancakes. My jelly has been known to end up runny too at times, and I've done it many times. Sorry yours didn't turn out.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:34 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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My guess is it's because you used too little sugar for the type of pectin. The type of pectin you use really does matter.

I would recook it with an additional cup of sugar, but I'd add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, too. Just add the sugar and lemon juice, bring it back to a boil, then boil for one full minute and recan it.

It stinks that it didn't turn out. I hate it when that happens (and, yes, it happens to those of us who have canned for decades)
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:43 PM
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Grizzy Female Grizzy is offline
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Did you use PURE CANE SUGAR? It will say so on the front of the bag, if that is the kind of sugar it is.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:43 PM
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MotherCharlotte MotherCharlotte is offline
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Thanks everyone for the responses! I guess the problem was that I just didn't boil it enough. I opened one jar, reboiled it for about 3-4 minutes, put it back into the jar, and then put it into the fridge. I went over to my parents for Sunday dinner, and when I got back it was jelly.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2010, 10:46 PM
neparose neparose is offline
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Double batching can cause it not to set up. Even if you doubled the ingredients exactly. Dont know why. Just one of those kitchen mysterys. Are you sure it was 100% juice? If it was a juice "drink" it would have water added and that might cause the problem. And lastly, sometimes you'll never know why something didnt come out the way it should have. just dont let it stop you from doing the old try try again method. We have ALL had our own "mysterys" so your in good company.lol!
rose
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2010, 01:23 AM
sbemt456 Female sbemt456 is offline
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Jelly can be saved, there are instructions in the box with the pectin. I make jams and jelly a lot. I usually make 2 sometimes 3 batches at once. For a lil insurance I alas add a few tablespoons of lemon juice no matter what kind of fruit unless it is really tart. And it usually say to boil hard for 1 minute after adding the sugar, I alas go for 2 sometimes 3. When I do this I also do the "sheet"test, while it is boiling dip a cool metal spoon in the jelly or jam, let it drip off, an it it drips off in sheets where several drops have merged it is done. I dont boil it hard for more than 3 minutes tho, as it can make the jelly tough an gummy. Just the method to my madness. Hope this helps a little.

Have a great day !

stella
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2010, 12:13 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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I agree with Junie. When using "boxed" pectins, you must use the correct amounts of ingredients. Your use of extra liquid is most likely the cost. Like Stella, I know a lot of people that make double batches, but if you aren't experienced, that can be a problem for you.

Also, it doesn't immediately gel.

My grandmother always said never cut or double batches of jellies or candies.

Paul
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2010, 01:06 PM
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raytwnmt raytwnmt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherCharlotte View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses! I guess the problem was that I just didn't boil it enough. I opened one jar, reboiled it for about 3-4 minutes, put it back into the jar, and then put it into the fridge. I went over to my parents for Sunday dinner, and when I got back it was jelly.
My wife and I are sitting here laughing, not at you, but because we had the same problem.

We had more than one batch not "jell" The answer for us was to call the "guru" (Her mom) and she said to BOIL IT!

We did and it worked every time. Her mom said long ago, they didn't use pectin, and boiled it to proper thickness.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2010, 01:28 PM
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MotherCharlotte MotherCharlotte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbemt456 View Post
Jelly can be saved, there are instructions in the box with the pectin. I make jams and jelly a lot. I usually make 2 sometimes 3 batches at once. For a lil insurance I alas add a few tablespoons of lemon juice no matter what kind of fruit unless it is really tart. And it usually say to boil hard for 1 minute after adding the sugar, I alas go for 2 sometimes 3. When I do this I also do the "sheet"test, while it is boiling dip a cool metal spoon in the jelly or jam, let it drip off, an it it drips off in sheets where several drops have merged it is done. I dont boil it hard for more than 3 minutes tho, as it can make the jelly tough an gummy. Just the method to my madness. Hope this helps a little.

Have a great day !

stella
This is good advice Stella, thank you. I will try the sheet test next time I make jam or jelly.

Thanks everyone for the responses. I love the BHM crowd, there are so many knowledgeable people here.
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